ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reclaiming Khagrabari

A detailed account from the ground of the attacks on Muslim villagers in western Assam by suspected Bodo militants, of its causes and of how efforts were put in place to quickly return the survivors to their villager to defeat the militants’ intentions of ethnic cleansing.

It was a little after 6:00 pm on 1 May 2014 that we were informed that seven Bodo youth with rucksacks on their backs had been spotted coming out of the Guma Reserved Forest through the Hakma Forest Village in the Gossaigaon revenue circle of Kokrajhar District of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) of Assam. We immediately asked our contacts to discretely observe them and report their movements continuously. Once their movement was verified by our  people on the ground and there was little doubt that they were Bodo militants, we informed the senior most official in charge of law and order in the state.  Orders were issued by him almost immediately to the forces on the ground to intercept these militants.

There was certainly cause for concern, as the impending defeat of Bodo candidates in the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha constituency at the hands of the common candidate put up by the major non-Bodo communities had created apprehension that “vengeance” will be meted out soon. Such threats had already been made in many remote villages in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district.

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